I have been almost alone in asking What if everything we have been told about Mitt Romney’s electablility is wrong?
Among the points I have made is that current polling is not a reliable indicator because Romney has not faced the volume of attacks ads and hostility from the conservative and Republican media as has Newt, and Romney uniquely is vulnerable to Obama’s Secretaries versus Bosses campaign theme.
Jeffrey Anderson at The Weekly Standard makes these and other points in The Case for Gingrich’s Electability:
In fact, if one were going to design a Republican opponent tailor-made to President Obama’s liking, that opponent would be uniquely vulnerable to Obama’s main rhetorical thrust (making class-warfare arguments), uniquely unsuited to take clear aim at Obama’s least popular action as president (spearheading the passage of Obamacare), and uniquely strong in states that are unlikely to matter in the general election race. In all three of these ways, Romney is made to order for Obama — while his chief rival, Newt Gingrich, is not….
Current polls do indeed show Romney faring better than Gingrich versus Obama, but these polls tell us very little about how things would actually play out in November. Gingrich has faced far fiercer attacks to date — both from the Washington establishment and from his rivals (who are all jockeying to become Romney’s leading competitor, rather than generally taking direct aim at Romney himself) — than Romney has. But that would change quickly if Romney were actually to become the nominee. Moreover, in a general election campaign, the financial advantage that has afforded Romney the luxury of pummeling Gingrich with negative ads in Iowa would disappear.
Anderson also points out that Romney’s “moderate” image simply will narrow the margin of loss in states Obama will win anyway:
When contemplating the places on the map where Romney would provide the GOP with the greatest electoral advantages, the answer would seem to be in the Northeast and on the Pacific Coast. But none of the states in those regions, save New Hampshire, would be up for grabs in a close race. Instead, Romney would merely succeed in helping the party lose the likes of California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, by more respectable margins.
I don’t claim Romney is unelectable, but his electability is overrated. When Romney’s electability bubble bursts, you can’t say you weren’t warned.